Nov 21, 2014

Review: Game of Clones: The Clone Chronicles #3

Game of Clones: The Clone Chronicles #3
Game of Clones: The Clone Chronicles #3 by M.E. Castle

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Fisher Bas was able to track down his gone-Hollywood Clone--Two--but only with the help of Amanda Cantrell. Now "Three" and Dr. X remain on the loose. If Fisher is going to stop his secret from coming out, he'll have to figure out a cover for his brother clone and keep Three from helping Dr. X take over the world.

That proves much harder as Fisher is no longer able to keep Two a secret and crazy things start happening at Wompalog Middle School. Turns out Three has come to Palo Alto bent on eliminating Fisher and Two. The boys will have to pull together their friends and an unlikely ally to stop Three and his clone army. The future of Fisher and Two's hometown depends on it.


The Clone Chronicles is the 3rd book, and I am glad to say I read the first two with my 9 year old beforehand. WE loved all of the books. The witty conversations and outlandish creations had me & my son both hooked. Fisher and his original clone, Two, found themselves having to deal with a 3rd clone named Three. Three being a Dr. X creation, he was of course evil.

Fisher had always been a misunderstood loner because of his genius which made it unlikely for him to relate to children his own age. He created Two to go to school for him in the beginning to deal with that social part of his life which he hated, and the bullies that he wanted to avoid in a previous book. Two and Fisher were not very successful in working together at first. Two was popular, liked, outgoing, and unwilling to have Fisher dictate his life, and unwilling to run from the bullies. Two is also extremely intelligent. Thankfully Two finally becomes known as Alex.

Fisher and Alex (formerly Two), will have to use their combined genius to defeat Three (save the school, town, world, etc.). What I loved most is that the book is full of creativity in the action, machines, creations, inventions . . . Everything is so creative and fast paced to keep a young reader interested. Something is always being invented, and I love the sarcasm and wit, banter among the characters. Some of the things said are so funny my son couldn't stop laughing.

I was as provided an advanced copy of this book for review purposes. All opinions are my own. I highly recommend this book for middle readers. There is plenty of action, adventure, and humor. I actually enjoyed it quite a bit myself.

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Review: Far From You

Far From You
Far From You by Tess Sharpe

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Book description:

Nine months. Two weeks. Six days.

That's how long recovering addict Sophie's been drug-free. Four months ago her best friend, Mina, died in what everyone believes was a drug deal gone wrong - a deal they think Sophie set up. Only Sophie knows the truth. She and Mina shared a secret, but there was no drug deal. Mina was deliberately murdered.

Forced into rehab for an addiction she'd already beaten, Sophie's finally out and on the trail of the killer - but can she track them down before they come for her?


It took me quite a while to finish Far From You. The story was so heart wrenching I could only take it in small doses. The reading would actually make me feel so many things on so many levels that I would have to take a breather.

Sophie is so lost and tormented without her lifelong best friend Mina, and launches herself completely into finding out who took Mina from her. She throws herself into solving the murder once she is released from forced rehab after she was framed at Mina's murder to make everyone think it was a drug deal gone wrong. Trev, Mina's brother, had always had a crush on Sophie, and the details of Sophie and Mina's relationship comes out little by little in well placed flash backs throughout the story. Trev was such a good guy who felt responsible for the accident that originally caused Sophie to be disabled.... There is a lot going on in this book that keeps these friends intertwined in each other's lives to an unreal and painful depth. I felt so torn and emotional every time I read a chapter that I would have to regroup and switch to a lighter happy read for a while.

Far From You twisted into a good mystery to be solved surrounding Mina's murder and the murder's connection to another posssible murder that Mina was researching when she was killed. The raw emotions, friendships, family bonds, fear, love, and shattering of some of those things makes this a read that will keep you thinking it over once you have put it down.

I was given this book free of charge before it's release date for the purpose of an honest review. I am sure I will think of it many times throughout my life. Friendship is a precious thing, and it is hard to imagine losing someone that is an actual part of you.

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Nov 16, 2014

Review: Grave Mercy

Grave Mercy
Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Why be the sheep, when you can be the wolf?

Seventeen-year-old Ismae escapes from the brutality of an arranged marriage into the sanctuary of the convent of St. Mortain, where the sisters still serve the gods of old. Here she learns that the god of Death Himself has blessed her with dangerous gifts—and a violent destiny. If she chooses to stay at the convent, she will be trained as an assassin and serve as a handmaiden to Death. To claim her new life, she must destroy the lives of others.

Ismae’s most important assignment takes her straight into the high court of Brittany—where she finds herself woefully under prepared—not only for the deadly games of intrigue and treason, but for the impossible choices she must make. For how can she deliver Death’s vengeance upon a target who, against her will, has stolen her heart?


The book started off pretty quickly with distress and a bad situation for poor Ismae. I was lured to read on to figure out who had bothered to rescue her, and by the time we reached the assassin nuns I was pretty interested in where this could go. How could I not be interested in a gal who Death Himself had blessed with gifts. She felt useful, had a purpose, all sounds good....

Enter the handsome and honorable man . . . Doesn't that always throw the story? At least the attraction was a slow one with many verbal jabs and tension as she fumbled her way through a mission at court with the "higher ups".

There were some slow spots, but I didn't mind so much, because the spots seemed to either lead to understanding Ismae or graze one of the multiple plots that continued to come about. Who done it, who is doing it, ok it's coming from every direction . . .

I enjoyed the read largely because of our lady nun assin's eagerness in constantly wanting to kill someone & be done. HAHA.

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Oct 31, 2014

Review: The Unseemly Education of Anne Merchant

The Unseemly Education of Anne Merchant
The Unseemly Education of Anne Merchant by Joanna Wiebe

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Book description:

So many secrets for such a small island. From the moment Anne Merchant arrives at Cania Christy, a boarding school for the world’s wealthiest teens, the hushed truths of this strange, unfamiliar land begin calling to her—sometimes as lulling drumbeats in the night, sometimes as piercing shrieks.

One by one, unanswered questions rise. No one will tell her why a line is painted across the island or why she is forbidden to cross it. Her every move—even her performance at the school dance—is graded as part of a competition to become valedictorian, a title that brings rewards no one will talk about. And Anne discovers that the parents of her peers surrender million-dollar possessions to enroll their kids in Cania Christy, leaving her to wonder what her lowly funeral director father could have paid to get her in… and why.

As a beautiful senior struggles to help Anne make sense of this cloak-and-dagger world without breaking the rules that bind him, she must summon the courage to face the impossible truth—and change it—before she and everyone she loves is destroyed by it.


The Unseemly Education of Anne Merchant was an ok read. I will admit I was really excited at first, but the pace was so slow that I began to lose interest. I love books about girls, or boys, going off to boarding school. It seems like an adventure of its own even if it isn't. I wanted to know more in the beginning of the book, but it just seemed like lots of strange rules were in place with no reason or sense for so long my mind began to wander off to other matters.

Once things would pick up a little and get a little more mysterious, or we happen to get a clue, I would find myself interested again. The book really did pick up in the last 1/3 or so, but I am afraid some readers may have given up by then. I loved the supernatural aspects of the book of course, and once you get the importance of being the best it makes sense that it is such a big deal. At first it seems juvenile and goofy basically. There is the definite "evil" twists at the end. I did not realize it was a series or multiple books were involved for quite a while.

I was provided this book from the publishers to provide an honest review. I enjoyed the read, but do wish it had been a bit faster paced in the first half of the book. I was pretty taken with the ending and the reasons for all of the strangeness once they were revealed. If I had it to do over, I would definitely read it. Despite the slow pace, it was well worth reading.

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Dystopian Giveaway Book Hop

Dystopian Hop

Coming Fall 2013! Action of Purpose #2, Into The Dark Of The Day

"The author’s stated aim is to show that Christian fiction doesn’t need to be “sanitized.” In that, he certainly achieves what he set out to do. It’s powerfully dark at times, heartfelt and hopeful at others, and nothing at all like sanitized Christian fiction." ~ Clarion Foreword Reviews

You are not safe here. This is not another cozy Christian fiction novel.

This is Action of Purpose - home of fringe, genre-blending author, Stu Jones.

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"From the start I've been committed to avoiding all the powder puff, candy coated main stream antics (especially of the Christian publishing industry) and instead have decidedly invested in something real. If a person's faith(or lack of it) is real, then their struggle because of it is real too. Why should that be mocked by the over sanitization of every creative thought?
Though these stories are quite fantastic, the suffering and struggle that my characters endure is painfully real - as real as their triumph and redemption. These are stories of faith, and sacrifice, and purpose. I will not cheapen them by forcing them to be rated G.
This is not for everyone. It may not be for you. But it is real. Take heart and begin this Journey. There are some things that are worth the desperate path you must tread to get there."
~ Stu Jones

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Oct 29, 2014

Review: Maddy West and the Tongue Taker

Maddy West and the Tongue Taker
Maddy West and the Tongue Taker by Brian Falkner

My rating: 3 of 5 stars


Maddy West can speak every language in the world. When she is asked to translate some ancient scrolls, Maddy is excited. But the scrolls hide many secrets. Secrets that send Maddy on a wild adventure with a stowaway ninja, a mysterious monkey, a Bulgarian wrestler and a fiendish witch. And soon Maddy finds herself in deadly peril. Does Maddy have what it takes to save herself and her new friends?


The beautiful cover illustration is what first drew my attention to this book.

This children's book was my first Brian Falkner book and I enjoyed it. Donovan Bixley's illustrations added so much humor and excitement to the story.

Maddy West is a normal girl, with a devoted friend / neighbor. Maddy discovers that she can speak in many languages or tongues. It seemed to me that her mother and others wanted to exploit her talent near immediately.

I was given this book free of charge before publication to provide an himst review.

i found the book pretty interesting for many reasons. Many children (heck even adults) would love to discover they can speak and understand different languages. It was exciting that a child could travel to many lands and meet many races of people. Most realistically a child can not travel the world without adequate adult supervision, but in a child's mind that would be excitement.

The characters she meets along the way are quite creative and entertaining. Mr. Chester was funny and added a light hearted feel. Her best friend from back home gave who was with her provided that true friend bond needed in so many children's books.

The pacing and writing kept the reader wanting to know what was coming next and provided plenty of action and entertainment as the story carried on.

I was bothered most by the fact that a mother would be so eager to send her child across the world into the hands of no telling who to be used because of her talent so easily and carelessly. Even Maddy's best friend, a child himself, didn't settle for that.

Great illustrations!

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Oct 14, 2014

Review: Hush

Hush by Stacey R. Campbell

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


This young adult read was enjoyable and relaxing. I enjoyed the pace and the conflicting feelings of the characters in trying to make the situation best, figuring out who fits where. Max is a good guy who set out on an honorable mission, but finds his feelings getting tangled in the process. I really liked Max's character and his morals and sense of right.

I also love reading about kids in boarding schools. It seems so interesting that some children get to leave their parents to gain individualism so early in life. Plus who doesn't dream that they will find out they are a princess??

I was given this book to provide an honest review for and I genuinely liked the slow pace from apocalyptic panic that I had been reading. There are mysteries to be solved in this story and surprises here and there, but the nice, slow pace was a great change.

Book description:

For small-town girl Blakely Henry, any hope of finding her biological parents died when she stopped believing in fairy tales and Disney princesses. That is, until she spots her boarding school’s new British exchange student, Max Ryder, staring at her. Why would a boy who looks like he stepped out of the pages of a magazine be looking at her? Because Max knows something Blakely doesn’t.
Following the tragic demise of one of Europe’s most beloved royal families, Max has stumbled upon information he thinks may lead to a lost royal heir, and now he is on a quest halfway around the world to see if he’s right.
Sworn to secrecy by his university professor and the headmaster of Lakeview Academy, Max is admitted into an exchange program with the sole purpose of finding out the truth. But will his personal feelings for Blakely get in the way?
When a stolen email surfaces, Blakely and her friends’ lives are threatened, and Max starts to question what he is really after.
From the exclusive rolling lawns of Canada’s most prestigious boarding school to the University of Saint Andrews’ hallowed grounds, Blakely’s quiet, unassuming life is turned upside down. Is she really who she thinks she is? Can she survive long enough to help Max unearth the truth?

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SPOOKTACULAR BOOK Hop ~ dEaDINBURGH ~ Mark Wilson autographed copy + many other giveaways!

1 autographed copy to the winner
Oct 15-31st


Edinburgh, 1645:
The bubonic plague rages. In a desperate attempt to quarantine the infected, the city leaders seal the residents of Mary King's Close in their underground homes.

Mary King's Close is reopened, unleashing a mutated plague upon the city residents.
The UK government seals the entire city. Declaring it a dead zone they seal the survivors inside alongside the infected. dEaDINBURGH is declared a no man's land, its residents left for dead and to the dead.

Joseph MacLeod, born onto the cobbles of the Royal Mile and stolen from the clutches of the infected is determined to escape the quarantined city. Under the guidance of former marine Padre Jock, he leaves the confines of the city centre and hones his archery and free-running skills.
Alys Shephard, born into an all-women farming community believes a cure lies in the south of the quarantined zone. The finest combatant in the dead city, Alys burns with anger. The anger of an abandoned child.

Something much worse than the infected waits for them in the south, in the form of a religious cult led by a madman named Somna who collects gruesome trophies and worships the dead body of a former celebrity. Added to this the enigmatic Bracha, a supreme survivalist and sadistic former Royal with his own agenda, stalks the teenagers.

A self-contained story, dEaDINBURGH is a character-driven Young Adult/Horror/Dystopian novel exploring the human capacity for good, evil and for survival.(less)
Paperback, 332 pages
Published March 10th 2014 by Paddy's Daddy Publishing (first published February 27th 2014)
ISBN1494836394 (ISBN13: 9781494836399)
edition languageEnglish

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Mark Wilson is married father of two, currently living in Edinburgh with his wife, their son, Patrick and baby daughter, Cara.

Mark left Bellshill Academy in 1991, qualification-free. And worked his way through a huge number of jobs including, window-cleaner, delivery driver, Levi's salesman, microbiologist and cinema usher.
Mark returned to full time education nine years later, earning his Highers and a degree in micro-biology before entering teaching.

Mark currently teaches Biology in a Fife secondary school and is founder of Paddy's Daddy Publishing, a company he set up to assist independent authors. He writes in his spare time, in lieu of sleep.
 As well as the his autobiography, Paddy's Daddy, Mark is the author of several four fiction novels. Bobby's Boy, Head Boy, The Man Who Sold His Son the bestselling Naebody's Hero and dEaDINBURGH. His novels have been well received and feature Scottish characters. Mark has several other books in progress. Somebody's Hero (sequel to Naebody's Hero), Prophets (an irreverent look at the return of Moses and Jesus), ML4 (a YA time-travel novel), a follow-up to dEaDINBURGH and the thriller, Black and Blues.

Mark Wilson. Lanarkshire-born; Edinburgh-based author of Bobby's Boy, Naebody's Hero, Head Boy, The Man Who Sold His Son and the dEaDINBURGH series.

You can find me and my books here:
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Founder of Paddy's Daddy Publishing